As a fond farewell to 2013, the intrepid New Music USA staff has chosen some of their favorite tracks from the past twelve months for this edition of the NewMusicBox Mix.
By challenging and subverting listening conventions, the four compositions by Alvin Lucier as performed by the Australian new music ensemble Decibel on a new Pogus CD open up minds and ears to push the listener into deeper realms of sonic perception.
Now in their fourth season, Spektral Quartet is currently ensemble-in-residence at the University of Chicago and already a well-known champion of Chicago composers, including the six whose works are featured on the group’s first commercial disc release.
The three discs featured here all contain music in which computer interaction plays a prominent role alongside human performers.
I can’t think of another composer who manages, again and again, to create such an inverse relationship between the bald simplicity of the compositional plan and the crazy richness of the musical result. The more basic Lucier’s hypothesis—the more abstract the map—the more inexhaustible the experience.
Throughout Navigation, Taylor Ho Bynum doesn’t allow the listener to dwell too long in any moment, choosing to steer back and forth from the traditional to newer waters.
One of the more endearingly paradoxical indications of compositional success is that interest gets piqued in music that even the composer had largely forgotten about. Unpublished works, unfinished works, juvenilia—when even that becomes fair game, you know you’ve (posthumously, usually) made it. The latest recordings from Florestan Recital Project pay that tribute to Samuel Barber (1910-1981).
This week we round up three new recordings by large ensembles of various configurations.
Claws & Wings, cellist Erik Friedlander’s latest release with Ikue Mori (electronics) and Sylvie Courvoisier (piano), is a moving reflection on the experience of mourning and moving forward through music.
Noah Creshevsky’s expansive 2012 sample-based composition The Four Seasons, which forms the basis of his latest CD release on Tzadik, is hardly without precedent. For starters, there’s Vivaldi, but also Haydn, Fanny Mendelssohn, Glazunov, John Cage, Wendy Carlos, Chen Yi, etc. However, it is one of the most meticulously crafted renderings of this much-traversed concept and is arguably the most elaborate of all of his musical creations thus far.